Friday, 4 July 2014

Valley Press Friday Digest, #10

I shall jump straight into today's 'Friday Digest' with some exclusive breaking news:

  • Kate Fox and Alfie Crow, authors of last year's The Glasto Code, are working on a sequel set during the Yorkshire leg of this year's Tour de France, which Valley Press will be bringing to you in ebook form - for just 99p! - very soon. As with last year's Glastonbury effort, Fox & Crow (as we can possibly refer to them from now on) have written a rough outline of a mystery novel, and will fill in the gaps with actual events and observations from a real-life event, in this case 'Le Tour Yorkshire' (which is avoiding Scarborough for some reason). The new novel will be called Tour de Force, and the cover is below. Web pages coming soon.

  • Though the Tour cyclists are heading to York, they probably won't have time to check out the city's snickets, passageways, courts and yards - but we know a man who has, and if you too would like to, York Curiouser have produced a helpful map of all the places John wrote about in In Between, where the poems are currently on show as pieces of (temporary?) graffiti. Here it is:

  • There's been even more JWC-related excitement this week: the York poems have been made into a sort of immersive audiobook, which you can listen to here. Also, don't tell anyone (I haven't), but we found out yesterday that John's full-length collection Ghost Pot will be part of New Writing North's Read Regional campaign for 2015. That's two years in a row that Valley Press authors have been represented - quite a result!
  • We also found out this week what happens when you clear your Gmail inbox on your smartphone:  
  • Both me and Emma cut a great swathe through the jungle of our email inboxes this week; so congratulations to... us? After much discussion we decided there's no way around it: we won't ignore them, and we won't hire someone else to answer them, we just have to knuckle down and work through all our incoming correspondence - it's a crucial part of what makes EP and VP such friendly and accessible operations. As for the authors of the five messages I still need to reply to, at time of writing... stand by!
  • Congratulations also to all our friends who had their ACE grants renewed this week, especially our mutual sales agency Inpress, and the organisation behind Bridlington Poetry Festival (which I know I'm always going on about, but it really is good). Looking forward to the next three years working with you!
  • I seem to be in a congratulatory mood, so congrats also to Sarah Holt, whose Love and Eskimo Snow made this list of 'Top 10 Holiday Books' for this summer (between John Green and Joey Essex - what company!) Peculiarly for a book with 'snow' in the title, summer looks to be the big season for Sarah's novel - the front-of-store promotion in branches of WHSmith Travel starts next week, so look out for it if you go in one. Oh, and well done to Matthew Hedley Stoppard, who has a poem in the latest edition of Magma, and read at the launch this time last week.
  • Next week on this blog: Miles Salter is working on a list of who he thinks are the favourites to be named in the 'Next Generation Poets 2014' list (which I've mentioned previously), and I intend to post that in next week's round-up - should be very interesting. Last week I told you all about Helen Burke' forthcoming second collection, but I forgot to tell you how it got its title - it comes from the opening poem, which I will reprint below as a finishing flourish to this instalment of the blog. See you next week!

Here’s Looking at You, Kid

I noticed from an early age that the sun
asked permission to be on our street.
‘Is the sun allowed here?’ I once asked me dad.
And even though he knew it wasn’t,
he pulled his collar high and looked all round –
then put it in his pocket just for me.
Even though he knew to own this bright
this dangerous thing would bring me
perils, as well as joy. 
(Better to have a little sun than none at all.)

And we walked home, like two happy dogs
and the sky was duck-egg blue and the grass
was full of four-leaved clovers
and dad winked – and we laughed to think
he had the sun in his pocket.

‘Here’s looking at you, kid,’ dad said.
‘Here’s looking at you.’

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